The Snarky Bodybuilding Dictionary
Ambrose Bierce was a newspaper columnist, satirist, essayist, short-story writer, and novelist. He was also broadly regarded as a son of a bitch.
He once wrote an obituary that contained the line ,"In life she was quite composed, now she is quite decomposed." While reviewing one particular book for a newspaper he merely said, "The covers of this book are too far apart."
While working for the San Francisco Examiner in the 1890's and the first part of the 20th century, he compiled a long list of pithy definitions. He defined marriage as "a community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two."
Happiness was "an agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another." A bore is a "person who talks when you wish him to listen."
There were hundreds of others that were eventually compiled into The Devil's Dictionary and it remains an oft-quoted book to this day. As is the case with any satire, the definitions exposed or discredited mankind's folly. In short, they reflected a whole lot of truth.
In 1913, when he was 71, Bierce went to Mexico to seek "the good, kind darkness." A friend received a letter dated September 10, 1913, but that was the last time anyone ever heard from him. Some say he'd wandered into South America and been held captive by a tribe of Brazilian Indians. Others say he never went to Mexico at all and instead committed suicide in the Grand Canyon.
It is in his honor that I present the following definitions.
Abs, n. pl. Despite never having been experienced by members of the lay public, these elusive creatures are highly prized and are widely thought to be the natural result of switching from regular beer to "lite" beer and doing a couple of dozen sit-ups. From the Latin word meaning absent.
Bench Press, n, Barometer of overall strength in the United States. The bench press is performed by lowering the bar at roughly the speed of a bucket of chowder falling off a highway overpass and allowing it to bounce skyward off your pectoral fat while allowing the buttocks to rise up to 2 feet off the bench. The bar is then lifted halfway up while grunting like the 1051-pound domesticated pig shot by 11-year-old Jamison Stone. When asked, "How much do you bench?" it's accepted protocol to add 40 pounds to the total.
Bodybuilder, n. A weight lifter too weak to be a powerlifter.
Bodyfat Percentage, n. A number that among mathematical constants or absolutes is as believable as penis length, age, I.Q., or the answer to any survey that asks how many times you got laid last month.
Bodyweight, n. A largely irrelevant value among bodybuilders, unless it's under 225. Anyone who weighs less than 225 pounds, regardless of height, is, by custom, to be derided as a pencilneck.
Bosu Ball, n. Derived from the Japanese word bosu, meaning "wobbly round-eyed gaijinmoron who thinks he's working his core." (See Core Training.)
Cardio, n. A repugnant task, the avoidance of which can be easily rationalized by calling it "catabolic."
Core Training, n. A broad exercise philosophy almost always defended by the explanation that "you can't shoot a cannon from a canoe." Apparently, practitioners of this protocol believe that the Spanish Armada is destined to attack the United States and they and their canoes must be ready. An unforeseen side effect of this training is that women who practice it no longer have a waist and are largely undateable.
Core Training can make women undateable.
Cortisol, n. Allegedly the cause of all bodybuilding ills ranging from difficulty in adding muscle to the propensity to gain fat to being injury prone to the inability to love. From the Lithuanian word cortis, or scapegoat.
CrossFit, n. The fitness equivalent to the Taliban, or Mujahideen. CrossFit, like the Taliban, are intolerant of other fitness "faiths," but they don't require beards or turbans. Both groups struggle against infidels, but CrossFit has named their struggle "Nancy" and give the devotee 300 points for completing it.
Deadlift, n. Archaic. An exercise that fell out of favor in the latter portion of the 20th century because of its propensity to make the lifter perspire. It was replaced by triceps kickbacks.
Female Bodybuilder, n. Often derogatory term, usually prefaced by the words, "One of them-there..." The term is usually assigned by laymen after they say, "She's got bigger biceps than I do," which, if they ever took the time to notice, encompasses a pretty large segment of humanity.
HIT, n. The fitness equivalent to Al Qaeda, except rather than fly planes into buildings, devotees fly steaming piles of dogmatic horseshit into your ears and down your throat.
Kettlebell, n. A cannonball with a handle, believed by its promoters to have the mystical power to cure virtually any orthopedic condition or ailment. According to certified kettlebell instructors, comatose cause celeb Terry Schiavo was probably one or two kettlebell sessions away from competing on Dancing With the Stars.
Overtraining, n. A malady conferred on any man, woman or child who happens to be working out harder than you.
Personal Trainer, n. The short order cooks of the fitness industry who serve bad food to people who don't know any better. Experts on Bosu Ball training, kettlebell training, and core training, they confuse the perspiration of their clients with their own inspiration.
Powerlifter, n. A weight lifter too fat to be a bodybuilder.
Range of Motion, n. A distance inversely related to the amount of weight used by the lifter.
Squat Rack, n. An ill thought-out piece of engineering that prompts users in most gyms to wonder why so much metal is needed merely to do biceps curls. While its origins are murky, some believe the squat rack was originally designed for some exercise lost in history.
Steroids, n. pl. Believed to be derived from a Greek word meaning "sour grapes" from the habit of any non-lifter attributing any and all gains of the lifter to steroids.
Testosterone, n. A dangerous drug. Those who have it in their veins are characterized by courage, ambition, independent thinking, enthusiasm, and the ability to achieve and maintain an erection without using drugs scored from Internet doctors. Luckily, human levels are dropping like Britney's, Lindsay's, and Paris' knickers and soon we'll all be on the same sheep-like level.
Under Eating, n. A derogative descriptor universally invoked by steroid users to explain why non-steroid users won't grow.
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